Monday, September 30, 2019

Writer's Block?

What is writer's block?

For me? I don't get it, but what I do get, if you want to label it that, I see as other things entirely...than "writer's block".

I see what some call writer's block as merely, boredom, stress, or overburdened processing time. Essentially. I see buying into a belief in writer's block as a kind of victim mentality.

Processing time - When I write, my mind has a store, a library of where I'm going. I easily create as I write whatever it doesn't have previously available to draw upon. During the process, when I stop writing, when I hit that point at which I'm not sure where to go, it simply means my overt, external recording of what is in my mind has caught up to my processing, my creating.

At that point, I just need some time to catch up. It's as if I have a buffer in my mind and I've dumped it. So now it's time to refill it. Time for it to build up another set of concepts, scenes, and characterizations. Where fully formed thoughts have been used up and perhaps even the fundamentals, the building blocks of those things and orientations related to them have been used up.

IF you see that as being stopped, stumped, locked up, then I guess you could say you have writer's block. But isn't that simply a natural occurrence of the creative process? If it goes on for an extended length of time, and we all have different speeds at which we work, then it is labeled writer's block. I would argue at that point however, you have skipped out of normal processing times and moved into another issue entirely.

With time, you, it...eventually buffer back up. When I can finally write again...for a while. IF I write slow enough, I never hit that block. Or if you like, emptying that buffer. For some, they can write seemingly forever without ever emptying that buffer. But that's just an impression.

For others, it empties quickly, daily. Some of this obviously relates to the quality of what is being written. The closer one gets to being "genius", the less time it takes, or the deeper the meaning, or the more condensed the content, or the more prosaic it appears.

Part of what I do in the creative part of writing is to write myself into a corner, to set up multiple issues to be resolved later. Then try to creatively extract myself from that corner, to eventually hit a satisfying ending. Both for myself and the reader.

When one hits real writer's block, as I see it, if it's neither boredom or stress, you then have either written yourself into such a corner that you cannot successfully extract yourself from it or, you have so used up your buffer in a way that it cannot be refilled.

When that happens, then you either have written something that is fundamentally flawed and needs to be tossed out and started over, or you have written so far above your ability to extract yourself from the complications or the mess you have created, that you cannot resolve it, cannot finish it.

I ran into that myself in a way, in my as yet unpublished novella, "The Unwritten."

I took a year off from it and worked on other things. Until one day it suddenly hit me how to resolve the story and end it. As it turned out that was not quite true. I actually was simply seeing a path forward.

I followed it and it did lead me in the end to a viable ending. That ending however then led me onward to an even better ending until finally, I did end it with a satisfying conclusion. But I didn't see that as having broken if you wish to call it, the writer's block.

How do you correct that inability to complete a project?

Sometimes honestly, it requires dumping a story and starting over again from scratch. Some stories can become so convoluted and unresolvable, unfixable, that they should just be dumped. Or, you can strip them down to their bare essentials and work to a more viable ending.

Some merely abandon their work and simply don't stick it out. Hopefully, if they do abandon it, they keep it so that later perhaps, they may suddenly have an epiphany of how to complete it and still have it available to do so. Nothing is more frustrating to realize an ending, or an escape from the trap, only to realize, you have deleted the effort, destroyed the writings.

Whenever you find that your buffer is empty and is not refilling, not untypically that has to do with boredom or stress. Or something in your life is overtaking, subsuming your creativity. Stealing your mind, your attention to the point that you cannot write.

In those cases simply walk away. Change channels. Move onto another very different pursuit. Stop thinking about it. Take a break, Go on vacation. Have a drink. Go hiking. See a movie. Whatever it takes. However long it takes.

Sometimes I'll just research what I'm working on because the problem very well may be that I'm simply lacking information or knowledge. So I'll research a word, look up its synonyms or antonyms. Or research the concept or situation, scene or scenario or series of such things. It's merely another way to refill that buffer.

For some it's to go seek entertainment, or sex with a lover. Or to experience something creative, art, music or film, a play, a sports event, or whatever works best for you. Exercise is very useful as it supercharges the brain with oxygen.

Then come back to it later and try again, always keeping in the back of your mind that you do plan to return to it, to finish it. Because I find when I do that, my mind keeps crunching away on the issue or issues until it's resolved. It's a kind of perseverance you need to build in yourself if you don't already have it. My mind is always working on problems where I don't see it continuing on. I've found in playing a musical instrument that over time, even when I don't practice, I do keep getting better. It's a very similar thing.

For the most part, if you refuse to buy into the concept of writer's block, you may never experience it.

I have seen far more amateur writers, hobbyists, wannabe writers, who claim writer's block over that of professionals. To be sure, when you are feeling less creative or self-assured in your writings, they may not be as qualitative, or beautiful as when you feel you are in the zone.

Regardless, keep writing.

I find a hybrid form is most useful. I write screenplays, and plays, poetry and prose, fiction and nonfiction and even time-wasting posts on platforms like Twitter or Facebook. These are all different formats and jog the mind when jumping from one to another.

One might argue that I have writer's block on say a short story and then work on a screenplay, I'm getting blocked on one and simply moved to another.

One could argue it's a matter of semantics.
Find creative workarounds, think out of the block
I just don't see it that way at all, though. It has to do with processing, exercising one's skill sets. IF I go out on an obstacle course and physically run it, at some point I will hit a wall and need to rest, or sleep, or eat and then I can continue. For some that may be minutes. For others, hours. If you're a Navy SEAL, an Olympic athlete, or someone like that, it may be days even before you find you need to recharge.

Regardless, we all process and exercise at different rates and speeds and endurance levels. One needs to learn those limits... as young as possible in one's life...and how one works most efficiently, effectively and functionally. One needs to build those endurance levels up. And know how one works best in the creative field or perhaps in any field, in the most creative and functional ways.

So do I buy into the concept of a writer's block? No. I hope you can see now why.

Whether or not you buy into it is up to you. I just don't like feeling like I'm being victimized, or being a victim, of something I may very well have full, or mostly full control over. It never hurts to have tricks to find your way to productivity, no matter what the issue. And you just have to ask yourself what you buy into and how much you will allow it to affect you in a negative way. And how to turn that negativity into productivity. So...

Writer's block?

Monday, September 23, 2019

Our State of the State: Faith, Hope and Charity

There are those even in our own government now, who wish us to be ignorant, misled and misinformed for their own benefit. We need to stop and create an environment that is toxic to those types and to those types of behavior,

I read a great book that expanded my mind when it came out. "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century" in 1978, by the brilliant and persevering, Barbara W. Tuchman. A seminal book on how to write a history book and not just copy from previous history books. She also wrote before that, "The Guns of August" in 1962. Not the main consideration of that book was, in fighting one war, both sides believing absolutely that the knew what the other side was willing to do and capable of. But it was only after the fact, when it was all over, they all realized that they were basing their analysis on a previous world war.

We are in that place today. And most of us do not know it.

We have people attacking other people with new technologies while fully incapable of understanding how it all works, just knowing it will work. Not understanding the social dynamics, the meta and cyber dynamics, the historical dynamics. The other side (US basically), then needs then to try to understand it all, why they did it, what they did, how they did it and what the foundation was for it to be functional, as well as all of what it entailed, and why.

The problem there is just that. They didn't much need to understand it all in order to attack. But we, or whomever the attacked party is, who they may be, or will be... has to. They have to understand it all in order to properly counter it in the correct way. Other than through war, or ignorant other responses. And that is how our leaders are addressing all this. Through ignorance. Both in attack and in response.

We live in interesting times. Too interesting. Far, too interesting.


Russia attacked America through cyber activities in our 2016 election and before, and after. They are gearing up to alter our 2020 election. We need to more fully understand their actions and our assimilations and therefore our misdirected activities. Russia acted on something they thought would work, and it worked far better than they ever expected or projected. They do not understand fully well what happened either, but we have to. Far more then they do. Because to affect something is easier and requires less information and understanding than actually understanding that affect in practice in order to protect oneself. It is far easier to appear greater than, in destruction, than it does to appear great than in construction.


Repeating a lie will not fundamentally alter the truth, or change the reality that the lie was and remains, a lie. But it can and will alter people's beliefs, even when it goes against their beliefs. This can be countered by deepening one's ability at thinking, centering oneself in reality and facts, and being aware of one's world and environment, as well as utilizing compassion.


Regardless what our beliefs are, if we adhere to fundamentals in dealing with other human beings, and lifeforms, and our environment, all with due care and respect, even toward our enemies, much of our disrepair and responsibility in our mistakes when later realized, will be greatly softened by the fact that we were acting all along as decent beings, regardless our mistaken beliefs. Also, we may find along the way in acting on mistaken beliefs in such a way, that those beliefs are indeed mistaken. W|e will at least have the potential to find in the moment, that we are headed in an incorrect direction. We will increase our potential for becoming correct amidst our incorrect actions.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Gorst Underground Film Festival 2019

Last weekend, one week ago was the 2nd annual Gorst Underground Film Festival (what I like to call, GUFFest). It was held where it was last year at metal artist Ray Hammar's place, just down and across the street from the WigWam bar and BBQ joint.
Left to right, friend, Ray Hammar, Poppy, Electric Monkey

It was founded and is directed by friend and fellow filmmaker Kelly Wayne Hughes. Kelly's also been on a couple of podcasts about it this past week.
One podcast was from WILDSound, I've entered their contests a few times years ago with several of my screenplays, "Gray and Lover The Hearth Tales Incident" (semi-finalist horror/comedy in the Circus Road Films screenplay contest), and The Teenage Bodyguard (currently under development), and even their First Chapter contest, (The Conqueror Worm) from my book Death of heaven which they liked a lot.

Kelly was also on the Eek Speak podcast this past week. Both were lots of fun and Kelly did really well as he usually does.

This year we had filmmakers, artists, authors, the general public and of course a variety of very well done films and animations. We even had a very famous and local animator/cartoonist, Pat Moriarity. the nicest, coolest and most enjoyable people have been coming and I hope they continue to come as we grew each year.

I'd like to mention one thing, and we've not run into any real issues yet, but I'm sure it's coming and these are just things both festivals and filmmakers should be aware of. From London's Raindance Film Festival: "16 Things Film Festivals Hate About Filmmakers".

Last year's first annual festival was a lot of fun. It was, however, a bit nippy, so for this year we backed it up a bit and held it the first full weekend in September and that worked out great! Overall, this year's festival went even better. Everyone had a great time. You can see some of this on our new YouTube Channel.

Last year we had some very interesting people show up from as far as New York City with Ethan Minsker (creator of the Antagonist Art Movement) and his great little documentary, "Man in Camo". Ethan is one of those forces of nature it's always nice to run into.

You can pick Ethan out in a crowd in his camo business suit. I was a little bit leary of him at first but once I got to hang out with him, learn his history and orientation, you just gotta love the guy. And his documentaries and his books.
GUFFest 2019 program
This year we had some pretty interesting filmmakers show up, mostly out of towners from New York and California but some very interesting, entertaining and even disturbing entries of films and animations. Drag MC Poppy ran the show, with music by Electric Monkey while running the projector was Seattle's Count Spankula (AKA, Spankula the Count, DJ Spanky), along with "Electric Monkey" (AKA, Chainsaw), both once of the band, Dead Vampires.
MC Poppy and Electric Monkey
on a popular Ray Hammar art vehicle
You can see some of my still shots on my Instagram account, just click on the left arrow to go forward in time to see more. The local newspaper, Kitsap Sun, had a reporter write an article in their paper the week before and she showed up for the event.

I'm in the center of the center photo in their digital piece along with author William H. Nelson, and moderator, Stan Wankowski who is also an actor in both my current production, "Gumdrop, a short horror" as well as several Kelly Hughes films and his latest music video, "We're Nothing" by the Italian band, Postvorta.
Kitsap Sun article on the festival
Stavros Stavropoulus and Bryan Paris (up from LA and Joshua Tree, respectively), filmmakers of "The Buttcheek Boys" animation which got a lot of laughs during the viewing, said it succinctly, in that when they arrived: "As we walked in and saw all the stuff outside we were like, 'yes, we belong.'"
The Buttcheek Boys, animation
It was a long day. I got there before it started and left at the end lugging all my camera equipment to the WigWam where we had festival parking. I had shot interviews with the filmmakers and some of the panels going on, all on our YouTube channel.

In fact, I'm still editing and putting up new footage this weekend. Once I'm done, I'll begin editing on my own film project that I'm wrapping up principal photography on. We've been shooting all summer working around people's schedules and finally, we are almost done.

Just a few more scenes with just the main character. I had hoped to submit to this film festival but I'll have to wait until next year. Last year I helped judge the films and this year I judged the screenplays and was the official videographer for the event.

This year we again had... a mermaid.

"Mermaid" Aura Stiers
We did our best to get the filmmakers who showed up from as far as California and New York, on-camera (again, see our YouTube channel). These include, the aforementioned animators of "The Buttcheek Boys", Amber McNeill the writer and producer of "Death & Tacos", animator/cartoonist and co-director Pat Moriarity who had the world premiere of "The Realm Beyond Reason" at our festival(!), Betsy Winslow an actress in "What Happened to Sarah Silver, and Scott J. Ramsey director of the music video "Knave" which is music from the movie, "X".

Night's end, Kelly Hughes, Filmmaker Scott J. Ramsey with friend, and MC Poppy on right
Also, local Seattle filmmaker, Ty Minton-Small for The Big Swing with its lead and local actor Greg Gilmore, who incidentally was in a notorious Kelly Hughes film years ago, La Cage Aux Zombies.

I also filmed the interview that the local Kitsap Sun newspaper shot with festival founder/director, Kelly Hughes and then I turned my camera on journalist Jessica Darland, and then Kelly asked her a few questions, too!

Yesterday we had a small gathering of those who put on this year's GUFFest 2019 at the WigWam in Gorst, just to hang out, have a few beers and go over what happened at the event. And consider how we can make next year's festival just as better than it was from last year's event.

JZ, Pat Moriarity, Buddy and Kelly Wayne Hughes at Wigwam 9/15/2019
We had some interesting banter and may have settled on a new venue in part, for next years' GUFFest 2020. Pat had some interesting and exciting news about today (we both have something to look forward to, actually) but I can't tell you. Maybe later once we know for sure what's going on. Pat's had an interesting career. Check out his website, you'll see things like cartoonist R. Crumb, MAD Magzine, and other interesting things.

So, if you didn't make it last year, and you didn't make it this year, do consider making it NEXT year. Because, who knows what might happen. And that is a big part of what is going on. Be a part of something that is growing and already is a thing in many attendee's minds.

Not to mention...those fish.

What the hell does that mean? Well, you weren't there, were you, and so... you don't know.

So, don't miss out next year!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Best You Can Be

My entire life since I was a child has been dedicated to intellectualism, which I came to realize at some point, had become a dirty word for some reason with some people.

Perhaps because too many people associated with it were complete asses about it. Think Donald Trump, only truly smart and a jerk about it and condescending. Yeah, I could see people hating the educated then. Also associating them with abusive power and money. But in my view, the "educated" aren't intellectuals by nature. Some are some aren't. It's like beliving an ivy league education means you're smart, or a good person. I've met some very stupid "well educated", even ivy league types.

Yet all it is truly is the about same as those who work out at the gym to stay physically in shape, who body build, who find beauty in the human form. And yes, many of them are shallow asses too.

I was working out not just my body, but my brain, my mind. That doesn't mean I knew everything, or that I was the fastest at thinking or whatever. It meant that for me, I tried to make my mind and brain as functional as I could make it in the face of reality and facing reality, and working out issues to their most correct end. We're not seeing a lot of that today because the other side is to do anything to "win" or achieve your goal. Which is corrupt.

I worked hard to have an open my mind, to make it more than it was. To always strive to learn new things, to stretch my comprehension of reality, and the universe. To be pliable in situations that were hard to fathom and out of my experience. Where I might lock up in a situation normally, and through previous effort, wouldn't.

And yet, I've still been in situations where I certainly did lock up. Because I'm human. 

This was never about others or a comparison to others. It never had anything to do with looking down upon others or raising myself above anyone. Or in my being better than anyone or in comparing myself to others.

My Sensei in Karate as a kid told us to compare ourselves against ourselves, not one another. Because we are all different and we may never be as good as some other. And we don't need to be judging ourselves against each other. But against our own best efforts. And not to be judging others. Where one excels in one thing, they may fail in another where you excel. How is that or should that be a judgment call against them, or you, then? 

What I discovered over time, however, was that others took that concept of intellectualism and applied to it what our Sensei told us not to compare others to us. Or that others thought we, or I, was doing exactly that...looking down on them. When all it meant to me really, was that I was trying to be the best I could be, for my benefit and that of any others who could make use of me.

Having grown up from birth with ADHD and having trouble thinking as other did, all I could do was try to fit in, or try to excel to the point that I could appear normal and in that effort, I found I could excel in some, even many things. All the while feeling substandard even in the face of others seeing me as having excelled over others in a group.

That is part of ADHD for many because of always being, or having to be restrained, or shut down, held back. Not going far enough when expected, or going too far and having issues in deciding when what should be. I'm unsure if that is more frustrating for the child or the parents. Having raised such a child now myself, I can see it from both sides and I think it's harder on the child.

But many parents, as in my ex-wife. saw it as being an undue burden on the parent, or at least on her. The damage to a fully grown, mature adult, cannot be as difficult as a maturing mind striving and struggling to become...whatever it is they are supposed to become when frequently they need to "become" who THEY will be and not what is expected of them to be. A form to fill, when perhaps they cannot fill it.

Facts, knowledge, information, all verified, vetted, and peer-reviewed, scientifically proven, all collected as a professional activity, a hobby, and a passion with no intent on using that as a weapon, other than against ignorance and all that is wrong, is to me, intellectualism. Also as in sharpening a knife, sharpening one's mind. That is all it is. And I cannot fathom others who take that as an affront tot heir lack of those efforts in themselves, or in their lack of education, or logical abilities and capabilities. Another's inabilities should not be my responsibility or my fault.

I really and truly don't have a damned clue what has been going on in the world today or how those who are so very anti to all that I found admirable and laudable, came to be in power.

The only thing that seems to explain it falls under the realm of greed and criminal activity. Breaking rules to advance themselves. Skipping steps, push-button mentalities, not doing things right when you see wrong ways to achieve your goals with no consideration for either the future or any others. Or the damage it does to yourself, others, or society at large. Those behaviors set us up for failures in the future as processes and systems have been put in motion incorrectly. By all of us being as informed and correct, and adept at logical and creative solutions, sets us and others, and future generations up to succeed.

It's not all about me, now, at any or all costs. Life is bigger than us. Yet we seem to be creating s society where that has no bearing on reality or ourselves. As long as we win, succeed, or achieve wealth no matter the costs to our environment, our country, fellow citizens or other ways of thinking...within reasonable and humane considerations.

And we have now allowed a GOP and this President in Donald Trump to be in power wishing only to support ignorance and disinformation in order to attain and maintain their power. And at any and all costs...mostly to us. To America. To humanity. And to our Humanity.

They have taken the ball from the old Soviet's KGB and are now running with it.

But to what goal? To what end?

And so much of all this came from that initial hatred or intellectualism. As the Chinese did during their Great Leap Forward where they set their country back by fifty years in slaughtering and imprisoning their intellectuals, their doctors, their professors, their engineers and anyone educated or adept enough to see reality as it is, and not as Mao presented it.

It is apparently an infection humankind may always be susceptible to and one we have got to protect ourselves again, now and always.

And all you have to do is, be the best you can be. Not the most powerful, not the wealthiest, but the best person you can be. Support others doing that. Stop being negative. Try to be positive but in the most positive and production ways for yourself... and for all others.

That is not socialism or communism.

It's just humanity. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Streaming Network News: Quality?

Happy Labor Day holiday weekend! "Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country." 

America has turned into an anti-labor endeavor of the part of the rich and powerful. We need to consider and reflect on that today, and all that we can do to continue turning that around. A country is not built upon its wealthy and powerful, but upon the engine of its existence...the people.

Some argue Unions, labor concerns, and government caring about its citizens is socialism. Pure socialism is dysfunctional just as pure capitalism is but hybrids work. Like in America, when it's allowed by those in power who tend to fight it tooth and nail. Who tend to call entitlements such things as social security, Medicare, and healthcare for all. While actual entitlements THEY want, for big business, as unquestionably necessary and not to be discussed but simply given, no matter what. Even against all reason and the damage, it does to our government, our citizens and our trust in our leaders, mostly Republicans as the belonging to the party of big business and apparently citizen discare and abuse..

Irish Central argues: Labor Day is an 'Irish holiday,' as the Irish created the union movement

OK. Enjoy...

In 2016 I retired from a career in IT, sold my house of 16 years where my kids grew up most of their lives in and moved to another nearby town of Bremerton. Ironically a town I'd avoided all my life after being put in jail for the afternoon one fine early summer day when I was in 12th grade and visiting my girlfriend who lived in Bremerton and went to Olympic College (yeah, back then in high school, few believed a 12th grader in Tacoma, had a girlfriend in college, in another town, nearby or not...though my close friends did knowing I wouldn't lie).

I was just sitting there waiting for her to stop by for lunch, at a friend's house, with her best girlfriend and ex-boyfriend (older than me and her) who introduced us. when I was 17. I was innocent of anything that day, and they let me go. I've detailed this story elsewhere. In being the only town I was ever tossed into a jail cell in, and because back then Bremerton sucked (it's really nice now) and kind of a rough Navy town, I never wanted to return here after we split up. Until I moved here in 2016 and both myself and my two adult kids found it a pretty nice community ... now.

I was shooting for, as I still am, for a career change, not actual retirement. Like many, my retirement funds aren't what they need to be. But I had enough of a cushion to allow me this attempt into a creative career in writing and filmmaking. A luxury I didn't have while my kids were being raised. As I just noted to a friend who said he was impressed with what I'm doing as he wouldn't try it at this stage in his life...I had really had it with working in IT and it was quit or retire. So I retired and decided I had the ability to go for it. I'm making the best of it so far. In the end, I'll either fail and look stupid, bor succeeded and appear smart and courageous. Time, very soon, will tell.

That meant I needed to change my lifestyle, cut my overhead, and lose some amenities and luxuries. One of those being news and entertainment access. I dropped my DirecTV satellite which I'd had for years and had never wanted Comcast because everyone I knew who had it, complained about it and I'd had no complaints with DirecTV. Besides, for years they refused to run a line out to the community I lived in, which was in the woods. Not far off, only a mile out of town, but if you wanted "cable" you needed a non-cable cable. Or pay for the cable to be strung? Really Comcast?

Once I got moved to Bremerton (from Suquamish, where Chief "Seattle" is buried), I signed up with Comcast. I wanted faster internet speeds and had tired, to be honest, of atmospheric conditions screwing up my viewing times.

One of my favorite shows and one I missed the most, was/is Rachel Maddow. Also Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Which I still can't get.

One of the things I like about Rachel is her cheerful attitude, her understanding of what the hell is going on and her ability to deliver complex issues today through a historical perspective. Essentially educating her viewers.

Something I don'/t see on Fox News, or much of anywhere else. It's what I've liked about some PBS news shows. A deeper, more academic perspective. So I'm going to use her show as a vehicle to exemplify what I'm talking about in this blog for this week.

Let me take this brief aside as I've gotten hammered by various conservatives I know about being in a liberal bubble (while it really is them in a far more corrupted conservative bubble), saying I only watch MSNBC (I don't, only Rachel on there), Or only CNN (I don't, not at all, unless I'm at an airport maybe).

I actually have always gotten my news worldwide, since college, ever since the 60s as a kid watching PBS. I found it fascinating there were other ways of delivering the news, fewer articles and deeper perspectives. Back then I did watch Walter Cronkite, and so on. Those were good days when news was a "loss leader", not for profit, or for entertainment, but real journalism.

I watched broadcast news shows for years and then I did like CNN for a while, in its beginning. But in the past years since college, I've leaned on a wider perspective. How do other nations view us? How accurate is our news? What are they missing? What are they too focused on? And since the last Iraq war, how much are they too closely aligned with our government.

Informed consideration, not political belief.

I do my best to receive and assimilate actuality in reality. I don't see that effort much on the conservative side.

I get my news now from all over. I see someone post something, I research it (if it's interesting) before I share it (mostly). I research down two or three levels while most do one level if even that. I review news from all over the world. I rarely watch American news, not MSM, or faux news as is on Fox News entertainment "news" shows. I review other information from intelligence sources available to citizens. Janes, FBI, even CIA, sources, raw journalists' comments in areas of concern, and so on.

I watch news shows from Japan, Canada, UK, Al Jezeera, and other countries. I do NOT watch Russia Today (or their disingenuous obfuscating moniker, RT), Sputnik or read Pravda (the misnamed Russian State News agency which disingenuously means, "Truth").

So yes, I'm well informed, with a background, education, and history involved in professional levels research, world history, civics, and covert intelligence research. I am, therefore, far better informed than most American citizens. There are obviously others far more informed. But for a citizen, I think I do pretty well to stay level headed and rational with actual facts and information.

Before retiring I had MSNBC and so I had The Rachel Maddow Show (TRMS). When I moved/retired, I cut my paid channels down to basic and lost her show. I missed Rachel. But two years, no Rachel.

Then I moved a mile away into a far smaller home, with a much more reasonable monthly rent (yes, dumped having a mortgage and just rent now...I hope to buy another house, but I want to pay it off, with no mortgage as I do now when I buy cars).

I moved as I said, and moved my Comcast cable. A friend, an actor I had used on my audiobooks and now in my filmmaking, mentions Rachel at times, as he has her show at home, and sometimes good-naturedly teases me about my not having her. I got to wanting to figure out how to get Rachel's show back.

I discovered on my LG smart TV something I'd known about but never much bothered with, "Live TV", streaming TV off the internet. MSNBC is in there. So I started messing with it and discovered, Rachel's show was on it!

I started watching streaming TV and discovered some interesting things. Like, the network doesn't much care about the quality of their shows on streaming. It's a bizarre world of broken segments, ads you HAVE to watch (can't scan past or skip as with a DVR), and weird juxtapositions of shows, internally speaking.

I'll say upfront, even though I'm a high-level computer and internet savvy one time professional, I haven't researched this issue and don't know much about the format or issues of networks presenting their shows on the internet. I'm just relating it as a consumer and a viewer. So I'm happy to hear knowledgable explanations for my following complaints.

I couldn't figure out at first what the hell was going on with Rachel's show. And then, they took it off streaming on Live TV. I lost her show again. But, what I realized was, they were running the segments of her show...backwards! It was starting with the last segment of the show first, then go backward until at the end you had the beginning. WTF I mean, really? But before I lost access to her show on streaming, they seemed to be changing it around to be more in proper order. OK, progress. But again, what the hell? I even posted on their website asking, what the hell people?

Anyway, she was gone again. Until...Amazon Prime day. I have a Kindle Fire HD 7" and on Prime day I got a 10" Kindle. I'd also heard about Amazon Fire TV Stick. Cheap, so I got one. And discovered that I could now again access MSNBC and other things. And I had back, Rachel's show!

So I started watching again, though I have to wait until the day after to see the previous day's show. . It seemed the show was better handled on this format which is apparently streaming, but different, more ordered and not just seemingly (to me) so randomly presented. There's a menu system for each show offered.


Again there are the ads I cannot skip as I can automatically now, on my Tivo Bolt DVR. Something I'd been looking forward to for decades. Still, the attention to detail on these shows is frustrating at times. At times, at the end of a segment, they cut it off before the end of the segment.

When the adverts are over, you see that cut off ending, then the brand logo, then the next segment. The commercials, ones you have to watch, or mute as I do as they are so annoying (I mean, animals selling big pharma products? bizarre) and the same commercials again and again, saturation advertising for the dumbest among us. So annoying.

My point? IF they know, and they do know, that we are forced (no ad-skipping capabilities) to watch their adverts, then they are making money off these ads. To be sure. So at least they could do some due diligence regarding the quality of their presentations of their shows.

IF the argument is there's only one tech putting these shows online and they are overworked or something, they're still making money! Give us the quality we're actually "paying" for in watching adverts. We're not just your poor unwashed, we're your customers, your ad viewers, so give us the paid for attention we deserve!

Enough with this sketchy quality nonsense on streaming!

Also, monitor and keep the audio synced up with the video? Just a basic tenet of production, right?

It's time that streaming is given as much attention as cable, paid cable or broadcast TV.

It's time. It's passed time.

You're all professional organizations.

Act like it. Be professional.